Sunday, May 28, 2006

"I never had much use for specialists. Specialists are inclined to argue why you can't do something, while our emphasis has always been to make something out of nothing." Masaru Ibuka

Adam Cohen writes about "net neutrality" in the Opinion pages of today's New York Times (Why the Democratic Ethic of the World Wide Web May Be About to End, rr/sub req here). Adam makes a good case. Please read his writing, visit (badge at right), and do something - get involved.

"The World Wide Web is the most democratic mass medium there has ever been. Freedom of the press, as the saying goes, belongs only to those who own one. Radio and television are controlled by those rich enough to buy a broadcast license. But anyone with an Internet-connected computer can reach out to a potential audience of billions.

This democratic Web did not just happen. Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the British computer scientist who invented the Web in 1989, envisioned a platform on which everyone in the world could communicate on an equal basis. But his vision is being threatened by telecommunications and cable companies, and other Internet service providers, that want to impose a new system of fees that could create a hierarchy of Web sites. Major corporate sites would be able to pay the new fees, while little-guy sites could be shut out."

and he ends...

"Sir Tim argues that service providers may be hurting themselves by pushing for tiered pricing. The Internet's extraordinary growth has been fueled by the limitless vistas the Web offers surfers, bloggers and downloaders. Customers who are used to the robust, democratic Web may not pay for one that is restricted to wealthy corporate content providers.

"That's not what we call Internet at all," says Sir Tim. "That's what we call cable TV."

Bonus: Firefox Flicks winners (via YouTube), 1st place here and 2nd place here